Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Bad Year for Kentucky Corruption

In the past year, Kentucky citizens, largely through the good work of reporters at the Lexington Herald-Leader, have been treated to a unique inside-look at the perfidy engendered by politicians and bureaucrats who are charged with honest discharge of duties in carrying on the business of government. However, a number – large number – of them have just been “carrying on,” as it were, even to the point of paying for prostitute services on the taxpayers’ dime. The outright theft involved, whether disguised in perks or actual thievery, is overwhelming.

Though the perpetrators of these colossal messes are to be thoroughly condemned and institutionalized in the Big House when so judged, an even more colossal dysfunction/dishonesty has been exposed regarding the various boards that are supposed to set policy, salaries, perks, establish oversight, and generally keep everything straight. In every instance, the boards, if not actually complicit in the raids on the treasury, have been so derelict in discharging their responsibilities that they might as well not have existed. They could be collectively charged with malfeasance.

The Airport Board, as a group, apparently had no idea that four officials were robbing the airport blind. Ditto regarding officials supposedly governed by the boards of the Lexington Library, the Kentucky League of Cities, and the Kentucky Association of Counties, all either wholly or partly supported by taxpayer dollars! Part of the reason for this sad circumstance lies in the fact that board members are appointed on the basis of cronyism, not on the basis of merit. They “meet and eat” and do little else, placing complete control in the hands of the staff, a mistake that even a third-grader simply watching playground activity would recognize.

The airport officials, all already fired, have been indicted and pled non-guilty, although they’ve already hanged themselves in a way since they’ve assayed to pay back some – not nearly enough – of what they stole. The head honcho in the Library dustup has been fired but happily escaped worse, as has been the head of the KAco. He and a board member have also informally pleaded guilty by “paying back” for some services provided by the ladies of the night, but those amounts are miniscule by comparison to the $3 million cited by the paper and State Auditor Crit Luallen as excessive, extravagant, outrageous and distasteful.

Sylvia Lovely, head honcho of the KLC finally saw the handwriting on the wall in August and called it quits but not until the end of the year, during which time she will continue to draw her salary of nearly $27,600 per month, more than a lot of family breadwinners make in a year. If asked a while back of some of the members of the KLC board what her salary was, they would have answered, “well, duh.” The mayor of Lexington didn’t even know, and he was on the executive board...but he SHOULD have known.

Coincidentally, Lovely’s husband, Bernard Lovely, was the chairman of the airport board when all the peccadilloes took place there so the obvious question has to do with whether or not he was in on the skullduggery. He also was part owner of a restaurant in which the KLC ran up more than $20,000 in dining tabs, compliments of wife Sylvia, one supposes. This husband-wife team represents the quintessential gaming of the system – greed personified, and the devil take the hindmost.

Luallen indicated that no matter the stink mounted in the KAco, there was nothing illegal about what happened, but deciding that is not her job. Bonuses totalling $140,000 to two employees apparently were not approved by the board, and that in itself would seem to be enough to furnish an incentive for looking into the whole smelly operation. In any case, mostly with the outrageous and un-policed use of credit cards, the crooks took over the operations in all four entities. Actually, the University of Kentucky was forced to fire some folks, too, for the same reasons – corruption. It’s been a bad year in Kentucky for officials who have operated either in incompetence, ignorance, or outright corruption. Some of them will pay. Most will not.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Foreign Relations -- Hopeless?

State Secretary Clinton has finally made it to Pakistan to parley with the people whom she should have visited first in her journeys around the world, flying with all the trappings of royalty courtesy of the U.S. Air Force. That didn’t happen, of course, since President Obama made it plain from the start that Richard Holbooke would be the guy to see with regard to both Pakistan and Afghanistan, effectively cutting off his main opponent in the last campaign and leaving her to cool her heels elsewhere...just about everywhere.

Of course, Holbrooke hasn’t done anything worth mentioning so the latest American citizen to represent the president in Afghanistan has been Senator John Kerry, whose profound statement a few years back concerning his belief that the soldiers in Iraq just couldn’t hack it educationally for anything but the military naturally qualified him for important negotiating or whatever else he might get into. He’s now the expert on the Middle East and Hillary will just have to play catch-up. Of course, no American official trusts Afghan president Karzai...and vice versa. There’s no love lost anywhere.

One has to laugh when thinking about Clinton arriving in Pakistan (or anywhere else) in light of her totally fabricated story repeated during the campaign about dodging sniper fire in her 1996 visit to Bosnia as she made her way from the plane to the fifth-grade girl and the Bosnian president waiting to greet her on the very tarmac that was under such fire. That lie was so huge that it automatically qualified her for an important post in government. Entirely predictably, some Pakistanis did celebrate her arrival, however, by bombing the bejesus out of Peshawar, about three hours drive away, and wasting at least 100 people while injuring another 200, with two-thirds of the dead being women and children.

This points up the difference between the “quagmires” of Vietnam 40 years ago and Afghanistan today. Militarily, the U.S. could have prevailed in Vietnam but the Johnson administration decided against prevailing...for whatever reason. In any case, the Vietnamese did not kill women and children. Fellow democrat Obama has declared that the U.S. must prevail in Afghanistan (although a NATO coalition is the actual entity for prevailing), but has little chance of doing so. The reason: When people ( are willing to indiscriminately kill women and children (of their own race, at that), they can’t lose to a civilized opponent. Sooner or later, the civilized folks will pronounce a plague on all their houses, declare victory and melt away.

This is what’s happening in Iraq. Bush was right when he said the mission was accomplished in May 2003, the mission being the uprooting and eventual hanging of Saddam and destruction of his army. Since then, the people (mostly Iraqis) have made a great thing of killing each other not in battles but in deadly bombings in stores, restaurants, schools and anywhere else people gather, with thousands of Americans as well as thousands of women and children included in the death-deal. One only has to remember the beheadings carried out by al-Qaeda’s assassin-extraordinaire al-Zarqawi in Iraq or the throat-slashing of Daniel Pearl in Pakistan by Guantanamo’s most infamous prisoner, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, to get the picture. Khalid also engineered 9/11, indicating how tender-hearted a Muslim can be when it comes to women and children.

When people justifiably choose to engage monsters, the monsters can be killed but the ancillary murders perpetrated by the monsters (to make their point) on those who just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time ultimately decide the issue. In Iraq, the wholesale bloodletting is already beginning, notwithstanding years of training of both Iraqi policemen and soldiers in behalf of providing protection for whom Christ would label as the “least of these,” the most vulnerable. Vengeance as motivator reaches deep within the police forces and military, making protection virtually impossible.

Add to the mix the abominable sermons/doctrines/theologies of the imams, ayatollahs and mullahs, using the Koran, the Islamic holy book, to justify their perfidious teachings regarding the killing of the infidel and the paradise awaiting the martyr, and the recipe for uncivilized behavior is in place. People in this country don’t understand that, so they can’t cope for long with being a large part of the reason for all the killing. Without question, there will be a humongous religio-civil war in Iraq among the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds when the Americans are gone no matter when they leave, so there’s little reason to put off the exit.

In Afghanistan, things could get much better once the coalition troops are least fewer roadside- and suicide/homicide-bombings, thus sparing both civilians and Americans. The notion that a democracy or even a well-trained law enforcement agency is possible is simply out of the question...not in 50 years. The most plaintive scene seen in this corner lately was in a TV newscast the other evening, when an Afghan officer said that only one man in ten in his outfit could read. Imagine trying to form an army or police force when ignorance on that level is pervasive. In other words, these poor people depend on the murderous imams to tell them what their religion teaches and therefore how to live, i.e., kill the infidel and make women and girls into slaves, no matter how unbelievable and uncivilized that is.

Perhaps there’s some hope for a democracy in Iraq. At least three-fourths of the people are supposed to be literate. For Afghanistan, no least not any time soon, and losing American soldiers in that lost cause is not worth the effort. Al Qaeda is no longer the issue, and the Taliban and its ignorant adherents withstood the Russians for some ten years. They can fight – and love it – for a long time. The Russians suffered 11,608 dead and some 454,464 sick, injured and wounded during 1979-89. And...all for nothing! Reprising their mistake is senseless. Dealing with the uncivilized in either place is a waste.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Monday, October 26, 2009

Rampant Basketball Sexism!

In the midst of all the current turmoil regarding the recession, Afghanistan, Iraq, nukes in Iran and North Korea, health-care, unemployment, cap-and-trade, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and whether or not the president smokes or the vice president knows the current meaning of “fluffernutter,” an even greater issue has reared its ugly head, namely, the insensitivity of the president with regard to the blatant discrimination/sexism exhibited in his all-male White House basketball games.

The dear leader made matters even worse in an interview with a lady reporter by labeling the resulting and entirely predictable outcry from the women’s groups as BUNK. Oh, dear Gertrude! That sexist remark was the straw that absolutely broke the camel’s back, an actual metaphorical camel, not the cigarette variety, and, of course, a metaphorical MALE camel.

One wonders if the nation can trust a president who is so shallow and gender-indifferent that he doesn’t recognize that no basketball game can be considered politically correct with regard to DIVERSITY without women participants. And to was largely the women’s vote that put the rascal in the catbird’s seat, in the first place! The ingrate! The majority of men went for McCain, who, in referencing Lady Hillary’s million-dollar earmark for a “Woodstock Museum,” reckoned that he was otherwise occupied in 1969. It’s a sure bet that there were no women in the Hanoi Hilton.

So...what was a president on the run from the lady voters to do about this matter, earth-shaking in its political – yea, even its governmental – implications? He responded immediately (the very next day?) by doing a round of golf with a female employed in his administration...yeah, a One can only wonder at the thrill of it all, although making golf-course whoopee (defined as any hole played in less than five over par) might not look too good...that family thing, doncha know? But Ms. Obama will just have to understand.

The president erred, of course, by not inviting the lady to a basketball game. That would have been the only way to actually set matters right. The ladies didn’t complain because of a golf goof...they were “mad as hell and we won’t take it anymore” over a basketball game. After all, that’s “where the boys are,” not a mere twosome or foursome, as in golf. The gals have made it plain, especially since the game was between a gaggle of congressmen and the president’s men, that sexist shady deals were the real reason for the supposed sport, not just one-on-one grandstanding, like in the NBA.

One wonders what the outcry would have led to if the boys of October had decided on football instead of basketball and actually invited the ladies to an event in which Rahm Emanuel, known for his bloodthirsty spirit, might have bitten off a lady-finger. Or...what would the ladies have complained about if the guys had decided on a wrestling match? Hey...that would have been a show, better than the one put on by Senator Harry Reid the other day during a press conference, when he put his arm around Speaker Pelosi. Whew...just thinking about it!!!!

One thinks back to 2002, when the ladies rose up in arms because the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia – known internationally for the premier Masters Golf Tournament – didn’t have any female members and, what’s more, didn’t intend to have any and still doesn’t have any. The gals screamed bloody murder (and sexism, of course) and contrived to drive Augusta out of the international circuit. Indeed, the tournaments of 2003 and 2004 had no TV sponsors, but the Augusta guys thumbed their collective noses and bankrolled the thing anyway. The golfers (even those with wives, daughters and sisters) paid the whole thing no mind. Nobody who was eligible was about to miss the most honored golf event in this country.

If the president had a clue, he would have paid this thing no mind, just as he would pay no mind to Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, instead of singling them out for his disdain. He should have taken a page from Augusta, where wimps need not apply. Okay, so Augusta is private while the White House is public. Not necessarily! When the president uses it as his residence for a basketball game, for example, it is not public, but private, notwithstanding the venue for “shady deals.” If that were not the case, all the White House bathrooms would be open to the public.

Tempest in a teapot? Well, of course! The president trivialized his office by paying attention to something belonging only to those who scream “sexism” about nearly everything. There are nearly 100 women in the Congress. They can have a basketball game any old day in the congressional gymnasium and it’s a lead-pipe cinch that neither the prez nor any of the legislators would be caught dead near it, that is, with their bodies joining their brains these days.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Friday, October 23, 2009

DNC Memorandum #6

From the office of Governor Tim Kaine, convener, 23 October 2009

**Please pay no attention to the rumor that the president has thrown Creigh Deeds under the bus account his asking that neither the POTUS nor the TOTUS (Teleprompter of the United States) appear in the Virginia gubernatorial race with him. Deeds has confirmed that he made no such request and that he will not do so again. Also, the rumor that Rahm Emanuel sent Deeds a dead fish through special delivery is untrue. An anonymous White House source said it was actually sent via UPS. Even though I’m the current governor of Virginia, I can’t help Deeds since I’m allergic to fish, dead or otherwise...perfectly reasonable.

**Please be advised that the health-care conference organized by Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi has not been infiltrated by any republicans and that the locks on the doors are replaced twice a day. Also, play down the flap that was generated by the republicans recently regarding Reid’s making a pass at Pelosi during that press conference they held together. These two stalwart leaders will appear together again soon and explain that Harry mistook Pelosi for his wife, since each of them has two ears, making them practically identical.

**The “Hail to Obama” song recently performed in a New Jersey school and presented on TV via the newscasts of Fox News is to be classified in your material as sheer propaganda staged by Rush Limbaugh and a paid choir of trailer-trash children in Memphis. Also, discount the rumor that the POTUS accepted and then rejected the school’s offer to stage a presidential “love-in” in its gymnasium. Senator Kerry advised that changing one’s mind has become a manly thing like shedding a few tears (as he did in 2004 – little joke there) and indeed eloquently expresses the male sensitivity so exhibited by President Clinton, who could feel everyone’s pain (even Monica’s)...and said so.

**Officially, the president has stopped smoking and any vapors emanating from the Oval Office or the White House grounds are to be classified as coming from the White House kitchen. Any smoke emanating from the presidential limousine accrues to new brake linings since the windows are supposed to never be open. Smoke arising from a presidential jog is caused by the breaths of the Secret Service agents who thought they were finally delivered from this torture when George Bush gave it up for the bicycle. The agents claiming an allergy to cigarette smoke have been replaced by smokers. In any case, the jogs are much shorter for the obvious reason.

**The explanation for the president’s failure to secure the Olympics for Chicago in 2016 has to do with his having too much integrity to bribe the IOC officials, the usual method in securing the games. The rumor that the IOC officials quickly discounted the Chicago offer through sheer fear because thousands of dead people arise from their graves and vote every November is not true. It also is untrue that former Illinois governor Blagojevich contacted the IOC two years ago in an effort to sell Chicago and even offered the Sears Tower (or whatever it’s called now) in the bargain.

**Questions have been raised about the resignation of Van Jones from his position as the Green Czar. For one thing, he had served a number of weeks and simply felt that he had accomplished his mission, which was whatever he said it was. The fact that he had declared himself as a communist had nothing to do with the resignation nor did his assertion that the Bush administration had conspired with Osama bin Laden to bring off 9/11 nor did his reckoning of himself as a revolutionary, the one thing to save the country from capitalism. As we all know, capitalism has had its day and the time has come to bring other entities under government control to join GM, Chrysler, the banks and – soon now – all the fast-food chains, when there will be an absolute prohibition on french-fries, salt in any form, Big Macs and other poisons. Applications are being accepted now for the position of sugar/grease-monitor, with the full authority of the state in the matter of arresting lawbreakers serving up such caloric catastrophes as ice cream and barbecue. An announcement will be made soon regarding the new Brown Czar, who will oversee the monitors and the whole ball of wax...make that grease. Incidentally, Jones is not – repeat NOT – currently working as a houseboy in the George Soros mansion.

**It was overheard recently at the bottled-water keg and non-trans-fat, non-hamburger (eating grease okay if Senator Biden does), non-hotdog, non-dairy-product-of-any-kind, non-chocolate, non-smoking (smoking okay if Obama lights up), veggie-fortified, yogurt-enhanced snack-bar and body-mass-chart, carbon-cap-graph, endangered-species-obituary-wall-chart, blue/red-state-map, and Bush-dart-board that the administration, DNC, Girl Scouts, and all the ships at sea have declared war on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. This is not true, even though the term Door-Gate, regarding the Health-Care issue, seems to have originated there or in some other despicable location such as the CIA, FBI and all those other agencies that spy on everybody.

**The president has let it be known that he did not – repeat...DID NOT – appreciate seeing a picture of the staffers in the DNC lounge falling asleep during his second State of the Union speech the other night. It was bad enough that he was called a liar by a South Carolina redneck (probably even watches car-races) for telling a lie, but absolutely intolerable that DNC staffers deprive themselves of his wisdom. Anyone falling asleep during even a Robert Gibbs press conference will be sent to San Francisco to work among the cross-dressers, notwithstanding the fact that Gibbs has given the term “uh” new meaning and sometimes has to awaken himself.

**The annual fall party will take place on Halloween evening this year, so be prepared for the festivities.
Feel free to appear in costume but those attempting to look like either rappers or cowboys will have their guns confiscated and be required to forfeit a month’s pay. Those attempting to look like Congressmen while uttering three consecutive grammatically correct sentences will be forced to wash the dishes, so be forewarned. Those attempting to look like Senators while actually reading anything will wax and polish all agency autos next week, so...ditto. The highlight of the evening will be the burning in effigy of Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck, during which marshmallows will be roasted and everyone who is still sober will sing the New Jersey school’s “Hail to Obama!”

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

UK Athletic Department Peccadilloes

No better reason for taxpayer revolt exists than that of the unbelievably idiotic management of athletics at the University of Kentucky, the latest of its intolerable circumstances being the paying of former basketball coach Billy Gillispie a cool $3,245,000 to be fired on the basis of a contract that had never been written, much less signed. For some strange reason, Gillispie and Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart had been operating on some sort of “memo of understanding.”

Of course, Gillispie had been paid his salary and perks and guarantees, so what was a poor AD to do, especially one who makes far more than the university president – at least somewhere between a half-million and a million big ones per year? It’s hard to know the actual amount, since his contract, that took months to finally complete a few years ago, had so many gimmes, bonuses, cars, country-club memberships, loan payoffs for his desertion of a previous contract, longevity payoffs and who knows what else that probably not even the UK comptroller knows, although, of course, the athletics department is somewhat removed from the UK accounting department, making shady deals of all kinds beyond the purview of UK.

The athletics department is sometimes so fat with money that some years ago a million dollars was co-opted by the UK prexy, with no collateral damage to sports at all. This means that the UK administration can co-opt AD funds whenever it pleases, and it certainly would have been justified in grabbing $3 million instead of paying it out – and legally so – for the privilege of firing a coach on the basis of – and get THIS – his being unable to “fit in” at the university. Translation: Gillispie didn’t make it to the NCAA tournament in 2009. That failure, alone, cost Barnhart a cool $25,000 in bonus money, and all it takes to be among the NCAA teams is just to be in the top 64 in the nation.

Of course, paying off coaches at UK is nothing new. Football coach Hal Mumme was paid $1 million and given the free use of two cars for a year for “resigning” in 2001. Well...a million certainly isn’t enough to cover the cost of two cars, and at least Mumme wasn’t fired for not “fitting in.” His record of 2-9 in 2000 was not good, even though he had taken UK to bowl games a couple of times, at least, but that was another AD, so all bets are off. That AD didn’t last much longer, either, before he was shipped out and the genius of Barnhart was engaged.

Then, there was the case of football coach Bill Curry back in the 1990s. He wasn’t faring too well, so the powers-that-were managed to award him the paltry sum of $600,000 for giving it up, whereupon he “retired” to the ESPN for REAL money. If memory serves, he didn’t get the use of even one car, much less two, for a year in order to make his retirement free from the bothersome securing of license tags.

Gillispie’s windfall puts him in the same league as former University of Arkansas basketball coach Nolan Richardson, whom the university paid $3 million a few years ago for the privilege of firing him. It may be that Gillispie holds some kind of record for cleaning up on a university, especially in that strange category labeled by the “didn’t fit in” description accruing to a firing. Gillispie isn’t getting the use of even a motor scooter in the deal, but a guy just can’t have everything in this world of woe.

Sadly, for the $4,845,000 worth of resignations/firings/whatever for Gillispie, Mumme, and Curry over the last 15 or so years, the university could have hired 108 assistant professors at $45,000 a year or provided 323 full scholarships at $15,000 per year to needy students. But, hey...Athletic Director Barnhart has a new coach already worth millions and multi-millions if he’s ever paid for quitting, not too big a stretch. Barnhart’s probably looking forward to that $25,000 bonus for being at least the 64th best team in the country and another $25,000 for a final-four appearance. Maybe he’d also get a pickup to park beside his two “free” cars. That would be icing on the cake.

Indictments on felony-theft charges have just been handed down against four airport employees for skullduggery costing some hundreds of thousands. They likely will do time. Wonder how the Grand Jury might rule in a case of malfeasance costing the university $3,245,000. Barnhart’s caper cost the athletics department six times the amount that the four stole from the airport. Amazing...and even more amazing is the fact that he’s still in the job! Of course, it would probably cost millions to give him the privilege of resigning. It’s a sure bet that he wasn’t operating on a “memo.”

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Failed Honeymoon?

Traditionally, an incoming president is awarded a six-month “honeymoon,” during which, with virtually no opposition, he is supposed to completely shake-up government, especially if he has a Congress dominated by his party. For President Obama, that six-month period ended on 20 July, at which time the health-care system in this country was supposed to be completely revamped...for starters, although the loony-tunes “cap-and-trade” so-called energy bill had been passed in the House long before that. Nobody in the Congress had read the bill before it was passed, but that’s neither here nor there. The president wanted a bill, so the House obliged in the certain knowledge that Obama had never read the bill, either.

The most urgent problem the president faces is that the unemployment rate is edging toward 10%, but there seems to be no panic in the White House, not even any excitement about this matter. The president makes his daily appearances, delivers his speeches, flies all over the country (and much of the world) but doesn’t seem to get anything of substance done. fair. The Congress not only is on dead center, even though its democrat majority can do anything it likes, but its approval rating languishes somewhere around 21%, which is to indicate that the citizenry would just as soon it do nothing, i.e., do no harm.

The president makes much of the “stimulus” ripoff passed by Congress months ago ($787 billion worth of pork) that was supposed to save/create jobs, but stagnation has set in and the Congress periodically passes legislation extending the time that unemployment benefits can be doled out. Meanwhile, multitudes of people continue to lose their homes and the banks that are not “big enough” to save continue to close, with the government (FIDC) taking up the slack, using borrowed/printed money (who knows?).

So...the obvious question: Is the administration actually interested in turning things around? The president promised CHANGE on a massive scale...he would be the non-Bush, in other words. Or...he would completely change the capitalistic system that has made the country great into a system more to his liking. After all, President Roosevelt got 15 major bills through Congress in his first 100 days in 1933 during a financial crisis unlike the present one only by its intensity, not its similarity. Things are not quite as bad now as they were then, but they also seem not to be improving.

Under Obama and the democrat Congress, the government owns General Motors and a huge segment of Chrysler, meaning that it could engineer a back-to-work program just in those entities alone that would help decrease unemployment. Since the people provided the money needed for Obama to buy these companies (and bankrupt them), why not make and sell cars at a significant discount...a sort of non-profit auto agency? It would do two things – put people in the “green” cars of the government’s choosing and create jobs so those drawing unemployment compensation could again pay taxes. The third, and to this administration most important, thing this would do is put Ford and Toyota out of business or drive them, also, under the government’s thumb, probably by way of bankruptcy.

Under Obama and the democrats, the government essentially controls the huge banks that the people saved from destruction – or so the citizens were told. Obama could sign an executive order mandating that the banks lend all the money he indicates is needed to pay off mortgages and/or put buyers in new houses. The banks have paid back a lot of those “loans” made by the government, but the bankers predictably snookered the bureaucrats, salvaged their humongous bonuses, and are sitting on solid bottom-lines, with not a worry about those losing everything.

All this seems elemental enough, so why don’t the pooh-bahs in Washington get on the ball? Consider: As people become more and more dependent upon government (extended unemployment compensation ad infinitum, stimulus handouts, for instance) they subconsciously cede to the government more and more of their possessions and liberty. Carried to its logical conclusion, the current state of affairs leads to socialism, which is what this administration has been about since it took office. This is no better demonstrated than in the current health-care brouhaha, since this legislation involves life and death, the last resort.

In a speech to a Hillsdale College audience this past August, Dr. Walter Williams, highly respected economist at George Mason University, indicated that the average American now works from 01 January until 05 May to pay federal, state and local taxes...more than a third of a year’s income. Yet, the president and the Congress seem hell-bent upon increasing those taxes at a time when the nation is doing what citizens can’t do – spend money they don’t have. In other words, they mean to tax the nation into socialism, since private entrepreneurs cannot compete with the deep pockets lined with money confiscated by Congress from the citizens.

This is reprehensible. The Obama presidency, hardly begun, is in shambles...but, hey...isn’t that what it wants in order to carry out the agenda?

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chandler, "Gaming" & Bourbon!

Democrat Ben Chandler, Kentucky’s Sixth District Congressman, heaved and groaned and delivered himself of an opinion piece published in the Lexington Herald-Leader of 11 October in which he castigated the state for not protecting the state’s “brand” industries, horses and bourbon. Okay...the “horses” part was actually all about slots at the race-tracks, so maybe Chandler wants the state to have another “brand,” which he called “gaming.” Hilariously, he identified those who participate in “gaming” as “gamblers” instead of “gamers.”

He can be excused for that little slip, however, actually nothing when compared to the fact that he voted out a “stimulus” bill he had never read and a “cap-and-trade” bill he had never read. In fact, nobody in the Congress had read either bill, at least meaningfully, and the republicans played it straight by not approving either. Predictably, the stimulus bill was hard-core pork, with the result being an unemployment rate at 9.8% and rising.

So...Chandler lectures his state (actually its legislature, where bills ARE read, at least most of the time) for being negligent in protecting gambling and bourbon. He didn’t mention tobacco (apparently no longer a “brand” industry, as formerly designated), which has also been taxed inordinately, despite the fact that liquor is a well-documented drug some people use to kill others by the thousands, while tobacco is only a self-inflicted problem hurting none but the users.

Chandler repeated the old claim that the horse industry employs 100,000 people in Kentucky. That figure never changes, no matter the condition of the “brand.” Has anyone ever seen any documentation noting that 100,000 people are actually employed in the thoroughbred industry? That figure works out to about 833 horse-employees per county. However, only a handful of counties are involved in the racing industry, so those 100,000 folks are actually concentrated in just a few pockets (mostly around Lexington and Louisville), where the largest tracks and most highly-mechanized horse-farms are located. The figure of 100,000 is preposterous, and probably even the industry pooh-bahs don’t believe it. Propaganda!

Chandler has been exposed to HR 3200, the House version of health-care that has passed out of committee, but does anyone remember what happened to HR 3200? This bill seemed to be designed to place the entire health-care system in the hands of the government, either directly or indirectly as its ramifications are realized.

So...Chandler is no doubt gearing up to vote on a health bill he most likely will not read, contrived some good day by a House-Senate committee. Of course, it hasn’t been written yet, not even in the Senate, in which the Finance Committee is scheduled to vote on a version tomorrow (the 13th). Once the debate starts, there’s no telling what will be brought forth. When a bill happens (if ever), it may be voted on by senators who probably have never read it – at least all of it – maybe even in committee. This is the way the people’s employees do their work these days. Just check with the caucus, where the party honchos put out the word, and then vote.’s all about gaming and drinking and protecting and enriching the elite, the devil take the little guy. Kentucky is much, much better than that, but its 6th-district representative hasn’t caught on yet.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Peace Prize as Farce!

Most folks in the U.S. (okay, the whole world, for that matter) concede that the Nobel Peace Prize is a farce much if not most of the time since it is far more political than by way of recognizing people who have contributed significantly to the cause of effecting world peace, as if there ever could be such a thing. This year is no different except for the strange twist that it has gone to a U.S. citizen for the third time in the last seven years. The far stranger twist is that the three Americans to whom the prize has been awarded have done nothing toward effecting peace of any kind.

In 2002, the prize was awarded to former president Jimmy Carter, whose only contribution to the notion of peace was his arranging of the meeting of Sadat and Begin at Camp David in 1978. Sadat, however, had already been to Jerusalem in 1977 and negotiating had been an ongoing thing right into 1978. There would have been an agreement between Israel and Egypt with or without Camp David, especially since Sadat knew that Egypt could never overcome Israel and that he wanted the Sinai back in Egyptian hands. The Israelis had taken it in the Yom Kippur dustup in 1973 and, indeed, were poised to invade Egypt when the U.S.(Nixon) made it plain that such would not happen. Also, Israel wanted use of the Suez Canal.

Perhaps the weirdest award in Nobel history was made in 2007 to former U.S. vice president Al Gore and the UN agency IPCC (climate control). The climate (or global warming) was certainly a subject for the scientific community, not people like Gore, who had no scientific background and whose film An Inconvenient Truth had been so discredited that school teachers in Great Britain could not show it to their students without explaining its many errors. The IPCC was an alarmist gaggle of supposed experts who made such dire predictions (beaches and islands going underwater, for instance) that people were scared to death.

Since the Gore/IPCC award was made, the credible scientific community has doggedly taken apart the claim of global-warming as a manmade thing as well as the now-discredited consequent climate-change as a result of it. Indeed, this community of climatologists and scientists has proven conclusively that the earth has been cooling since at least 2003 and that the warming that has taken place since roughly 1980 has been due to changes in the earth-sun relationship, not to any greenhouse-gas impact. Actually, for purposes of agriculture there is more need for carbon dioxide, not less.

The 2007 award was a slap in the face to the U.S., not a signer of the Kyoto Treaty for the justifiable reasons that climate is a non issue and, more importantly for the U.S. economy, that neither China, the greatest polluter, nor India, not far behind, is required to do anything. The U.S., on the other hand, as well as other industrialized nations, is required under the treaty to make enormous, costly sacrifices. The award was so illogical as to make the Nobel Committee look like an opportunistic, vengeful, sophomoric gaggle of either people with an anti-American agenda or just plain dunderheads.

In both the Carter and Gore years, the award was contrived to use duped Americans to dupe the U.S., though the U.S populace, in the main, is not too dumb to recognize the obvious. The U.S. House, on the other hand, without reading the some 1300 pages of it, passed a stupid cap-and-trade bill some weeks ago. It will never fly in the Senate, especially since the science has been proven to be screwy.

So...the latest Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to an American president who has gone out of his way to speak or imply ill of the previous administration and has made it a point both at home and abroad to apologize, seemingly, for the very existence of this country. He has spoken about internationalism to the expense of nationalism, something that tickles the ears of the Europeans, at least the ones in Norway, where the winners are decided. He has no record of any accomplishments that have made for peace, and if the award is supposed to cover his accomplishments of 2008, he has been rewarded for winning a political contest, nothing more.

The Nobel prizes in the fields of the sciences continue to be valid because the accomplishments are quantifiable. In the fields of literature and peace, the prizes are awarded on a purely subjective basis, so there can be weird surprises in those areas. The peace prize is often, if not most often, based on the political agenda of the judges. The U.S. is not liked in Europe, with Britain as a possible exception, so when an American gets that prize he/she gets it for political reasons only, making the judges look unbelievably foolish. Disgusting!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Obama Motivation?

While President Obama is smart enough to grow into the office, his bizarre behavior thus far gives cause to wonder not only about that matter, but also to wonder about what aspect(s) of his life have had the greatest impact on his philosophies and consequently his approach to governance. In the face of the deep recession, with unemployment rising through the year to a current 9.8%, he’s seen that Michelle Obama has shopped for days in Paris (her own private U.S. jet, secret service and whatever else) and used three U.S. jets and all appropriate security measures, vehicles, and paraphernalia for a “date in New York.” This has cost millions of dollars.

As if that weren’t enough, with some 15-million or so looking for work, he decided on the spur of the moment to wow the IOC Commission in Copenhagen into giving the 2016 games to Chicago and just took to the air after already sending Michelle Obama on “her” plane and despite the fact that Mayor Daly and a contingent from Chicago were already on-scene making the case. Placing his and the country’s prestige on the line, he made both him and this country into laughing-stocks. It has been amply proven that IOC decisions are based on the worst sort of corruption, and he should have suspected that Chicago had been ruled out long before Copenhagen.

Concerning influences, an inescapable fact is that he sat in Jeremiah Wright’s church for 20 years and listened to anti-American and hate-the-white-man rhetoric. Wright wrote this in the Nov.-Dec. (2007) issue of the Trumpet magazine, run by his daughters: "The government runs everything from the White House to the schoolhouse, from the Capitol to the Klan, white supremacy is clearly in charge…". Connecting the U.S. government with the Klan is a slap in every American's face. Much of the rest of Wright's rambling hate-filled speeches/writings such as his allusion to garlic-nosed Italians have been well-documented.

Dr. James Cone, the designer of Black Liberation Theology, is Wright's mentor. To see where Wright is coming from, I listened to nearly all of Cone's one-hour-plus lecture, Strange Fruit: the Cross and the Lynching Tree, given at Harvard in October 2006 as part of the Ingersoll series, which Harvard has placed on the Internet. I listened/viewed a couple of other snippets of Cone in other venues, an interview and panel-discussion presentation, also available on the Internet. Cone makes much of what he calls "white supremacy" and the "cross." He insists that white Americans (supremacists) can understand the cross only in the context of the lynchings of blacks in this country, comparing those lynchings to the crucifixion, mentioning 5,000 of them.

According to Cone, the white supremacists can obtain forgiveness only as they provide reparations to blacks. Wright, the keynote speaker at its convention in 2007, is a darling of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N'COBRA), thus putting Obama squarely in the must-position of declaring how he feels about this matter, since Wright has been a mentor of sorts to Obama. Obama hasn't said, or at least plainly enough, but he's saddled with the problem.

Nor does it help that Wright is obviously pals with Louis Farrakhan, head of the Nation of Islam, and in 1984 went to Tripoli with him to visit Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. Farrakhan stated that the U.S Government sabotaged the levees on Lake Pontchartrain so that black folk would be killed by a levee-break, such as the failure of the levee during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He claimed to have the proof but he never produced it.

The Trumpet, begun by Wright and/or his church in 1982 and whose editor and publisher became Jeremiah Wright's daughters, awarded Farrakhan its Empowerment Award in 2007, something Obama had to know about…but has he said anything about it – approval or disapproval? In a Nov.-Dec. Trumpet article, Wright is quoted: "Minister Farrakhan will be remembered as one of the 20th- and 21st-century giants of the African American religious experience."

So...does Obama see his election as the vehicle for inculcating “payback (reparations) time,” a sort of “in your face, America...We won?” Is his profligate spending for himself and his wife (actually outrageously expensive mini-vacations on the public dime) in the face of tragic overall adversity his way of saying “let them (the hoi polloi) eat cake?” How could reparations be more fully and quickly integrated than to drag the nation into an unforgiving socialism, redistributing the wealth from those who create it to those who have the votes to confiscate it?

And...does the fact that Obama was born into Islam play a role in how he views the nation/world, not to mention his connection with Wright, to whom he devoted an entire but unsuccessful “makeover” speech in Philadelphia last year? The jury’s out, but the evidence thus far is that Obama intends for his promised CHANGE to completely reverse the private enterprise system that has driven this nation into the top spot globally but from which, on his watch, it is sliding. Sad!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Congressman Grayson & the Hereafter

Dear Congressman Grayson:

I’m contacting you account both respect and admiration accruing to your recent statement on the House floor: "I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven't voted sooner to end this holocaust in America." Also, as president of the Serenity-Effecting Agency for Naturalizing Celestial Entities, usually referenced by its acronym SEANCE, I’m suggesting that you consider our services with respect to making contact with, and thus apologizing to, those who’ve gone before and thus realizing peace of mind. It’s our job to recall them, thus the term naturalizing, for dialogue, apologies, suggestions, descriptions of the hereafter, insults to former mothers-in-law, etc.

Since there are different strokes for different folks, SEANCE has a design-department called Customized Options for Recalling Politicians, Saints and Evildoers, known as CORPSE. You mentioned families in your thoughtful apology, so CORPSE could arrange for your visit with a goner to include family members, whether they want to lavish sentimentality or excoriation upon the departed. Sometimes, simple information is the only concern. A recent client applied for a tete-a-tete with Obama’s grandmother to see if in the hereafter she had discovered whether or not she actually was a “typical white person,” as the president noted in Philadelphia last year. A current client is considering recalling former al Qaeda operative al-Zarqawi to discover where the head of his favorite brother-in-law is. Jimmy Carter may apply for a recall of former PLO honcho Yassir Arafat to discover information possibly leading to more Arab money for his museum-operations. We can customize the when, where and who for any meeting you desire, so think it over.

If you shouldn’t desire an actual confrontation, SEANCE has an arm called the Consortium for Hosting All Non-threatening No-bodies in Eternal Latitudes, or CHANNEL, for short. In this venue, just the voice of the departed is available for dialogue, thus negating the possibility of an actual fight with a ghost – a real bummer. State Secretary Clinton used this method for her famous conversations in the White House with Eleanor Roosevelt, since hubby Bill intimated privately that probably neither could stand the sight of the other. Senator Kerry, dodging expected head-thumpings, is considering only dialogue (risking possible hoo-hahs, however) with the departed guards working the White House grounds in 1970-71 to see if they know the location of the medals he threw over the fence in his frenzy of protest. You might score a historic and politically opportune coup by channeling democrat Ponce de Leon to see if he actually discovered your state of Florida, or if, as some claim, it was discovered by a republican from Timbuktu.

In your recall/channeling, you might be averse to even the possibility of acrimony, so SEANCE has an arm designed for only sweetness and light. After all, the dearly departed have undergone changes that are incomprehensible to us and therefore might have unpredictable dispositions, such as formerly gentle folks speaking only in violent bleeps or someone like Hitler reciting the book of Proverbs upon recall. This department is known as Headquarters for Expressing Lament and Love, or HELL, for short. It’s Hell’s job to conduct surveillance on the potential “returner” to discover if a client might encounter a problem, such as a former business partner whipping out a celestial .38-special and instantly increasing the population of the hereafter. In your case, you might be wary of recalling Andrew Jackson for advice, who, as you know, took Florida away from Spain and might think a mere congressman simply too cheeky in bothering him, thus fit to be run over by his now-celestial big white horse, “Sam Patch.”

Since you’re a member of the extremely small group that holds the power of life and death over the populace, you will appreciate the SEANCE department known as the Holistic-office Of Legislating Oligarchs Concerned Asymmetrically by Unresolvable Status Termination, known not surprisingly as simply HOLOCAUST. Since not even in the Civil War were millions slaughtered, you probably used this term in your apology, as any democrat would in a cause his party supports, to refer to the 52 million or so abortions (and affected families) since Roe/Wade was enacted in 1973. Upon occasion, a current lawmaker applies for an audience with a deceased lawmaker or Supreme Court justice who favored the act to inquire as to whether or not the aborted fetus hovers in the hereafter or was actually just the same as a bothersome appendix. Emotional problems seem to have affected some of these lawmakers, as well as some members of the National Organization for Women (NOW) who have applied to SEANCE (usually only for channeling), quite often causing them to have unbalanced worry about their own death.

This being the case, HOLOCAUST has an adjunct feature known as the Council for Assuaging Sadness- Kinetics and Enabling Tenableness, known for short as CASKET. This group deals with many who apply to SEANCE for various audiences with the departed, with the result including feelings of guilt. CASKET works them through their uneven sadness attacks and fear of celestial punishment leading to premature demise, and gives them support as they get on with their lives. If you have lingering questions about health-care under socialism or communism, perhaps you will apply to SEANCE for audiences with Hitler and Stalin, respectively, thus easing your conscience one way or another.

In any case, SEANCE is at your service, and it will be greatly appreciated if you will introduce in the health-care legislation an outlay of a few billion to this vital organization, especially in light of the proposed death-panels. Consulting with those gone before might influence those who insist upon staying at undue cost to the taxpayers. As has been said, those who disregard history are bound to repeat it. So, talking things over with those who have already made history just makes good sense.

Best regards,

I.M. Otherworldly, CEO

And so it goes,

Jim Clark